Podcast “The ear is fat”. Jean-René Lemoine: my mother, emotions …

Fifteen years ago, author Jean-René Lemoine signed “Face à la mère,” a love poem to his mother who was brutally murdered in Haiti. Today, director Alexandra Tobelaim gives voice and body to this powerful text, at the Théâtre de la Tempête in Paris, until May 15th. The author’s confidence in the cave of “The Ear …”.

Three for one. Three musicians on one side. Three comedians apart. But for a single voice, a single cry of love. Polyphony and rock music accompany this version of To the mother of Jean-Rene Lemoine which Alexandra Tobelaim went to find to perform this show. Until May 15, the Théâtre de la Tempête will host what the director calls “a show concert,” echoing this poem that a son would one day write to his mother.


“Face à la mère”, directed by Alexandra Tobelaim at the Théâtre de la Tempête in Paris



© Gabrielle Voinot

Was writing this text a voluntary act? “I had no choice,” the author confides the ear is fat. After the shock of this mother’s death living far away, over there in her beloved Haiti, the need to write, the flow of words became almost uncontrollable. An indomitable need to tell not only this pain and the drama of disappearance, but also the whole complexity of the relationship between a son and his mother, from his childhood to his maturity. He also writes to do justice to a woman whose facets he discovers on the spot in Haiti, until then unknown to him. Also do all orphans justice, their parents torn from them under similar brutal conditions.

Jean-René Lemoine, author of

Jean-René Lemoine, author of “Face à la mère”



© Jean-Louis Fernandez

That is all, To the mother : an intertwining of love and rejection, joys and sorrows, fusion and misunderstanding, sometimes smiles and anger … But despite the intimacy – the story is undeniably linked to Jean-René Lemoine’s life -, much of the universality of this text. Everyone can endure the death of a loved one, everyone can have complicated ties to their parents, everyone can wonder about their origin.


“Facing the Mother”, directed by Alexandra Tobelaim



© Gabrielle Voinot

Moreover, Haiti is not mentioned once in To the mother. And yet, implicitly and in a certain way, it is the grief that Jean-René Lemoine is doing over this country that is also at stake. A land inexorably connected to him by his mother and by the tragedy that happened to him. A country he both condemns and loves deeply, that’s how it is. His country of birth, but that does not prevent Lemoine from refusing to be locked into explanations of his existence sometimes too simplistic for his liking, by others. Man wants to be, he claims, diverse as his origin.

The author Jean-René Lemoine, guest at

Author Jean-René Lemoine, guest on “l’Oreille est bolde”



© Jean-Louis Fernandez

His intimate origins, the one he really claims – in addition to a literary affiliation with the author Marcel Proust – are … theater; and To the motherthough not at all his first text, signed for him his real entry into writing, which he explains to the ear… . A text that he had a vital need to say, and which he gave a show a few years ago, interpreted and staged by himself. Again, a necessity without really knowing why.

So today, To the mother is a performance of a completely different nature, born of a relationship of trust created between Jean-René Lemoine and the director Alexandra Tobelaim, fascinated by this text, and which the author gave carte blanche. He will hardly have the right to look over the few text clips that have been made …


“Face à la mère” by Jean-René Lemoine at the Théâtre de la Tempête in Paris



© Gabrielle Voinot

IN the ear is fat, Jean-René Lemoine evokes the way in which he welcomes this new vision of his text, returns to his writing and his relationship today to Haiti and this missing mother. Which he will have hailed forever towards the motherwhich demonstrates that if beings leave us one day and fly away, scriptures and words remain …

Jean-René Lemoine can be found and listened to in The ear is bold, it’s this way!

Or here:

Facing the mother, by Jean-René Lemoine, directed by Alexandra Tobelaim, until 15 May 2022 at the Théâtre de la Tempête in Paris (Cartoucherie de Vincennes).

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